Scientific Workshop & 40th Anniversary Reunion
Wednesday, May 28 - Friday, May 30, 2008
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Dynamic Graphics Project
Room 1160, Bahen Centre, 40 St. George Street, University of Toronto
Leslie will bring his personal reflections to the forty years development of computer graphics, encouraging each of us to use our own reflections to gain perspective. The tremendous accomplishments of this group call for a great deal of gratitude. But even our early dreams still have a ways to go. The questions for the future remain the same: What's worth doing? What's the best way to do them? How to get the resources? How to enable creative people to productive fulfillment? And, above all: What will help our world the most?
Leslie Mezei came to Canada at the age of 15 as a Holocaust survivor from Hungary. He studied Mathematics and Physics at McGill University and started working with computers in 1954 at Ontario Hydro and then Confederation Life, where he became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, en passant. He became an academic in 1964 at York University and the next year joined the University of Toronto Computer Science Department. After teaching data processing and artificial intelligence, he started research and teaching in computer graphics in 1967. He was an early creator of computer art, and a scholar of that field, and obtained a Canada Council grant to invite artists and designers to work with the computer. Frieder Nake, now a major exponent in Germany of digital arts, spent a post-doctoral year with us. Leslie also invited Bill Buxton back from Europe, originally to develop a Structured Sound Synthesis Program. Leslie created two early graphics programming languages and enabled graduate students to develop various areas of the field. The future of the Dynamic Graphics Project was assured when he brought Ron Baecker to U of T in 1972.
Leslie was also a member of what was then an Interdisciplinary Department and taught future studies, the concepts of the information sciences, and social aspects of computers. He left the university in 1978, turning his attention to experiencing and writing about spiritual, interfaith and interspiritual issues, (www.interfaithunity.ca) while making a living as a personal financial planner. Currently he is an interfaith minister, the first Golden Rule Ambassador appointed by the Scarboro Missions, with the main motivation of helping make this a better world by promoting a message of universal unity in diversity.